Several local residents have taken to social media recently to alert fellow neighbors to a phone scam circulating the area; the scammers are posing to be from utility companies like ONG and OG&E.

Several local residents have taken to social media recently to alert fellow neighbors to a phone scam circulating the area; the scammers are posing to be from utility companies like ONG and OG&E.

Tecumseh Police Chief J.R. Kidney said this issue is not an uncommon one.

“There are so many different scams going around,” he said.

“If it is not the way you normally do business it should raise a red flag,” Kidney said. “Look up the business and call them to make sure you are not being scammed.”

He said no one should ever give any information if they are not 100 percent sure who they are dealing with.

“Business owners will understand if they are true businesses,” he said.

Residents aren't the only victims of such a scam; utility companies are being misrepresented by the would-be thieves.

“Unfortunately, scammers regularly target customers by phone, email and door-to-door, saying they work for OG&E,” David A Kimmel, OGE Energy Corp. Sr. communications specialist, said. “We encourage all of our customers to be aware of our process for contacting them, so they don't fall victim to these scams.”

He said if someone calls claiming to be an OG&E employee and asks for money, this is an immediate red flag that it may be a scam.

“OG&E will not ask for your bank information or a credit card number over the phone,” he said. “Nor will we ask you to settle a bill using cash or prepaid debit cards, such as GreenDot cards.”

If the balance of a utility bill is uncertain, Kimmel said OG&E customers have a few options to check it out:

• Log in to your account to see if you have a balance;

• Call OG&E and use its automated system to get account information including last payment receipt date and a new account balance;

• Call OG&E and talk to a customer service representative: 405-272-9741 (Oklahoma City) or 800-272-9741 (all other areas).

Also, Kimmel suggested deleting all suspicious emails that require immediate action to verify account details or which demand personal information.

“Ignore all suspicious requests for personal information such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords, credit card numbers or social security numbers,” he said.

For more information, visit OG&E's Scam Prevention page, at https://www.oge.com/wps/portal/oge/my-account/customer-service/scamPrevention.